fondation prince pierre de monaco

The prize

The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco has appointed Lorenzo Fusi as the new Artistic Director of the International Contemporary Art Prize PIAC. Fusi will work towards the delivery of the 2016 reiteration of the Prize.

Established in 1965, the PIAC has been organised by the foundation since 1983. In recent years, the Prize was awarded to artists of international repute, including: Carlos Garaicoa, Saâdane Afif, Candice Breitz, Didier Marcel, Su-Mei Tse and Guido van der Werve. The last winner of the award, Dora García, was also commissioned a new work entitled The Joycean Society, premiered in Venice during the 55th Biennale as part of the official programme (2013).

“I am very grateful to our President, H. R. H. the Princess of Hanover, and Vice-President Marie-Claude Beaud for their commitment to excellence and achievement in the arts” says Fusi. “I look forward to contributing to the success of this important initiative, that represents an opportunity for practitioners to be recognised in their field and supported in the making of daring and ground-breaking work. At a time when cultural and intellectual labour is often exploited and poorly paid, if paid at all, it is of the uttermost importance to signal the value of the artists’ endeavours and their contribution to society and knowledge.”

“The Prize in its present configuration” continues the new Artistic Director, “acknowledges this value and offers the opportunity to the winning artist to pursue new projects. In doing so, we not only intend to provide practitioners with the necessary time and the mental space for developing new ideas. We also propose a reflection on the role that the arts, and culture at large, play in reshaping our society by challenging a static reading of what we conventionally name reality: our status quo.”

Building on the recent positive experience in Venice, the Prince Pierre Foundation launches under the new directorship its Nomadic Pavilion. The aim of this project is to present the PIAC commission within a different international art forum each time, alongside the artwork for which the artist has been awarded the Prize.

The winner will be invited to Monaco to share their understanding of art and vision with younger practitioners and students. The Monaco Workshop considering itself as a practical and theoretical platform. This new strand of the PIAC aims to locally foster new talent and share knowledge, whilst retaining its international dimension and aspirations.  

Similarly, the PIAC recognises the importance of art writing and critical thinking and is committed to the development of significant voices in this area. The Contemporary Art Writing and Critical Thinking Award is granted to an exceptional individual or collective (writers, theoreticians, academics or practitioners) who use writing as their main engagement and investigation strategy for undertaking innovative and genre-defining research and original work.



Awarded for the first time in 1965, the International Contemporary Art Prize has been organized since 1983 by the Fondation Prince Pierre. Under the artistic direction of Jean-Louis Froment from 2004 to 2010, and of Abdellah Karroum from 2011 to 2013, the PIAC was given out each year until 2010. In its current structure, it is awarded every third year by the Artistic Advisory Board after consultation with international experts.

The winner is awarded a sum of 40,000 Euros, including 20,000 Euros to fund the production of new work.


Biography-Lorenzo Fusi

 (b. 1968) is the Director of Open Eye Gallery, one of the oldest not-for-profit photography galleries in the UK. During his tenure, he curated a solo exhibition of Tim Hetherington’s work (2013) and premiered in the UK the work of Letizia Battaglia and Alvin Baltrop. His latest project at the gallery Not All Documents Are Records: Photographing Exhibitions as an Art Form looks at the relations between documentation and art-making through the lens of photography (as part of the 2014 Liverpool Biennial).

Prior to this time, Fusi was the International Curator at the Liverpool Biennial, for which he curated the 2010 and 2012 renditions, entitled Touched and The Unexpected Guest. Between 2001 and 2009 Lorenzo Fusi was the Chief Curator at Palazzo delle Papesse Contemporary Art Centre, to then become the Contemporary Art Curator of the Santa Maria della Scala museum hub in Siena (Italy).

Over the years, Fusi has commissioned almost 200 new works to artists from around the world at different stages in their career, curated or co-curated over 50 exhibitions (between solo presentations, group shows and retrospectives), written and edited numerous publications.

His latest publishing endeavour The Piers From Here has been just released as an e-book and features contributions by Jessamyn Fiore, Robert Reid-Pharr and Jonathan Weinberg. Other recent titles include: Changing Difference: Queer Politics and Shifting Identities (a collection of essays accompanying the eponymous multi-venue exhibition at the Galleria Civica di Modena) and the monographic book Alfredo Jaar, both published in 2012.

Fusi regularly lectures at UK universities and internationally. He sits in the Board of Directors of LOOK, Liverpool International Photography Festival, and is a Board Member of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM).



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